A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types

Period 3 - The World's Fair City & the Automobile (1904-1940)

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Park Structures

Forest Park

Forest Park represents 20th century park design in St. Louis. Although the park first opened in the 1870's, its current configuration is a result of planning efforts during the early part of this century. Unlike Victorian parks, notably Tower Grove, the park was not intended to be a private aesthetic experience but the cultural and athletic center for the City. Forest Park was the location of the 1904 World's Fair, which entirely altered its original appearance (including draining a swamp on the western side), and left St. Louis a number of benefits - the foremost being the Art Museum - but also including paved roads, sewers, drinking fountains and a chain of lakes. Contrary to expectation, the Fair actually showed a profit, which was conveyed to the City and used for the construction of the World's Fair Pavilion and the Jefferson Memorial in 1913. George E. Kessler, Kansas City's premier landscape architect, supervised both the design of the Fair's grounds and the restoration of Forest Park afterward.

The World's Fair Pavilion was designed by Henry Wright in 1909, with landscaping by Kessler. Sited on a high rise overlooking a fountain, the Mission Revival building has an open arcade on front and back facades, between highly ornamental towers. Hipped roofs covered in red tile have extended eaves with exposed rafter ends, supported by large brackets..

The Jewel Box was added to the park in 1936, as a conservatory and greenhouse. Designed by engineer William Becker, the structure is influenced by Art Deco motives. A stepped pyramid, it has walls and roof of large glass panels. A monumental entry of limestone has multi-light doors and transoms set between fluted pilasters with stylized capitals.

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